My first thought on the topic is that it's a little like arguing over whether unicorns are made of solid chocolate or hollow chocolate!
But seriously, unlike unicorns, there are professional Realtors® out there who can help you with buying and selling property. But you should know that the term Realtor® means only one thing in Canada, (hence the ®), and that is that the person using the word to describe themselves is a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association. That's it. It's not a professional designation in any sense-but a badge of membership.
So with that in mind, if I can't rely on a title, how do I know I am working with a professional?
Here are three questions that you must ask any candidate you may be thinking about working with:
1. Do you work full time in real estate?
A professional works in his or her field full time. Not semi retired, not a hobby, not a second job, not a way to pay for university. If you choose to work with someone who is not full time then you are choosing to not work with a professional.
2. How many sales have you-personally, hands on - been involved in over the past year?
12 or more is what you want to hear. If you're not doing a deal a month then you are by default part time. You may be the best hitter in all of baseball, but if you spend all your time on the bench...a professional is in the game, day in day out, working, accomplishing, succeeding. Or hire a benchwarmer, up to you.
3. Have you ever been reprimanded or suspended by your real estate board or provincial council for actions involving a real estate transaction?
If more people asked this question then the ramifiactions for an agent of the ludicrously light penalties we impose on them for trangressions would be far greater than the measly fines or short time outs they currently receive. The answer you're looking for is an emphatic no by the way.
Start with these questions and you're on you way to hiring a real estate professional.
Or just call me - let's start a conversation. My direct number is 250 858 5575.